September 30, 2016
BYOD or ‘Bring Your Own Device’ is a strategy on the rise, with almost 74 percent of startups motivating employees to follow this path. While BYOD adoption can be considered the future of employee satisfaction and entrepreneurial management, it can also help improve productivity of a firm in general.
Although this approach is spiraling its way upward, companies need to be wary of the flipside and challenges associated with it. In this post, we will be touching on the risks and cloud-centric fixes for each.
One of the many issues has to be the lack of security associated with the worldwide adoption of BYOD. While the company-supplied devices are usually end-to-end encrypted, personal gadgets might actually lack this flexibility. However, most organizations who encourage BYOD adoptions are issuing guidelines and educating employees regarding the aspects of cybersecurity.
The next roadblock happens to be lack of total compliance which is absolutely vital in sectors like health care, online security and even ecommerce. HIPAA and other regulations have therefore come up, allowing organizations to manage and control employee devices for keeping confidentiality intact. Customer and patient details are mostly fed in an encrypted form and upon theft can also be deleted, even remotely.
Lastly, BYOD poses the threat of redundancy as the devices in picture might not be as high-end as the company expects them to be. This can be in terms of privacy controls or even the software version needed for the job. It will be exceedingly difficult if different employees use diverse set of tools and software versions for accessing the company servers. The end result will be catastrophic, as one set of documents might not work on some other device.
Cloud Computing to the Rescue
Opting for cloud-centric solutions can help address the challenges associated with BYOD adoption. The first step would be to shift processes and data sets over to the cloud. Apart from that, companies can opt for cloud-based hosting services for ensuring uniformity across devices and data accessing methods.
Moreover, software versions will no more haunt users as anything and everything can be looked up over the cloud — based on system to server cohesion.
Lastly, device thefts will be easier to muster as the company will only be revoking specific login access to the concerned devices and users alike. This strategy, even though in its formative stage, is expected to secure data and even guarantee complete compliance. However, migrating to the cloud isn’t as easy as it seems. Apart from these basic strategies, business can also adopt targeted solutions for making BYOD adoption a raging success:
Using DNS Firewalls
Unsecured access of the internet is one of the major factors hindering the global adoption of ‘Bring Your Own Device.’ Most employees use their personal handsets over free hotspots, leaving them susceptible to breaches and hacking. Most businesses have actually perceived this as a threat and are moving towards certain mandates— urging employees to access organizational data, via DNS firewalls. This in turn restricts data access against incoming requests from specific servers, mostly over unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots— thereby safeguarding business data to a large extent.
Deploying Document Management With a Centralized Approach
Even if software and other entities are migrated to the cloud, it might not be possible to make people use the same. Many employees might still be updating and accessing documents via their basic, built-in software — leaving multiple trails. Therefore, it is necessary to mandate a particular tool rather than enforcing the same as an optional resort. Even if the user is working over his or her personal software, the cohesive document management tool will aggregate the same and ensure compliance.
Opting for a Permissive List
If the business is functioning around a proprietary software which cannot be shifted to the cloud, the company needs to implement something called a ‘Restrictive BYOD’ policy. This policy comes with a designated list of devices and the user can select from the same — based on his or her preference. Once the choices are made, firms might test them further for consistency, compatibility and even compliance.
The Bottom Line
BYOD is definitely the road ahead for businesses, but it comes with challenges and roadblocks. While most organizations are already devising policies to combat the grey areas, cloud computing is actually lending a helping hand towards making networks secure and conducive to such a futuristic strategy.
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